The Importance of Meditation Upon God’s Word

Psalm 119:99; I Timothy 4:15; Psalm 119:18
       Thy testimonies are my meditation.
       Meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
       Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Meditation on the Word of God is the chief means of our growth in grace: without this even prayer itself will be little better than an empty form. Meditation nourishes faith, and faith and prayer are the keys which unlock the hidden treasures of the Word.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): We are aware that the majority of mankind are so much involved in the cares of the world, as to leave no time or leisure for meditating upon the doctrine of God. And even were we not so ensnared by the world, we know how readily we lose sight of the law of God, in the daily temptations which suddenly overtake us. It is not therefore without reason that the prophet exhorts us to constant exercise, and enjoins us to direct all our energies to the subject of meditation on God’s precepts. I will meditate upon thy precepts, Psalm 119:15.

R. L. DABNEY (1820-1898): Time must be allowed in sacred seasons for divine truth to steep the heart with its influence. Our hurry and externality has impoverished our graces.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): If people would exercise the same common sense in religion which they discover in the ordinary affairs of life, it would save them from a thousand mistakes. Behold the husbandman. He knows that God gives the increase―but he also knows how He gives it―and therefore manures, and ploughs, and sows, and weeds. His reliance upon God tells him that favourable seasons and influences are necessary to raise and ripen the corn―but he is never guilty of such folly as to go forth at harvest, and expect to reap where he has not sown. Nevertheless, such is the folly of many with regard to religious things. Such is the folly of a man who complains he does not profit by the Word―but never tries to impress his mind with the importance of the duty in which he is going to engage, never hears with attention and application; never retires to review what he has heard, and to make it his own. Does the Word of God operate like a charm―so that it is equally the same whether a man be awake or asleep?

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): No verse of Scripture yields its meaning to lazy people―the Bible is no lazy man’s book.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Those that would be taught the things of God must think on those things; those that would understand the Scriptures must meditate in them.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Not by hasty reading, but by deep meditation, we profit by the Word of God…Meditation is thus a very excellent employment; it is not the offspring of listlessness or lethargy.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Musing makes the fire to burn, and deep and constant thoughts are operative, not a glance or slight view. The hen which straggleth from her nest when she sits a-brooding, produceth nothing; it is only a constant incubation which hatcheth the young: so when we have only a few straggling thoughts, and do not sit a-brooding upon a truth, when we have flashes only, like a little glance of a sunbeam upon a wall, it doth nothing; but serious and inculcative thoughts, through the Lord’s blessing, will do the work.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.

WILLIAM JAY: You will more affected and benefited by the efforts of your own minds, than by [reading] the thoughts of others. The faculty will be improved and increased by exercise; and cannot be acquired without it, any more than a man can learn to swim by never entering the water.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): We learn more, and more effectually, by one minute’s communication with Him through the medium of His written Word, than we could from an assembly of divines, or a library of books.

C. H. SPURGEON: When I get a passage of scripture to meditate upon, I like, if I can, to see its drift; then I like to examine its various parts, and see if I can understand each separate clause; and then I want to go back again, and see what one clause has to do with another…The more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate upon it, the more you will be astonished with it. He who is but a casual reader of the Bible, does not know the height, the depth, the length, and breadth of the mighty meanings contained in its pages. There are certain times when I discover a new vein of thought, and I put my hand to my head and say in astonishment, “Oh, it is wonderful I never saw this before in the Scriptures.” You will find the Scriptures enlarge as you enter them; the more you study them the less you will appear to know of them, for they widen out as we approach them. Especially will you find this the case with the typical parts of God’s Word. Most of the historical books were intended to be types either of dispensations, or experiences, or offices of Jesus Christ. Study the Bible with this as a key, and you will not blame Herbert when he calls it “not only the book of God, but the God of books.”

SAMUEL CHADWICK (1860-1932): I have worked over the Bible, and prayed over the Bible for more than sixty years, and I tell you there is no book like the Bible. It is a miracle of literature, a perennial spring of wisdom, a wonderful book of surprises, a revelation of mystery, an infallible guide of conduct, and an unspeakable source of comfort.

THOMAS BROOKS: Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul.

ROBERT DINGLEY (1619-1660): Indeed admirable are the effects of meditation. It confirmeth our knowledge, Psalm 119:99. It strengtheneth our memory, Psalm 63:6. It enflameth our love, Psalm 119:97. It cherisheth time with God, Psalm 119:184. It maintaineth a true and childlike fear of God, Psalm 4:4. It husheth and quieteth the soul in afflictions, Psalm 119:23, and it promoteth prayer, Psalm 143:5,6.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): It often astonishes me that I did not see the importance of meditation upon Scripture earlier in my Christian life. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man. What is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God—not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe. No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our own hearts.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): Let us strive, every year we live, to become more deeply acquainted with Scripture. Let us study it, search into it, meditate on it, until it dwells in us richly, Colossians 3:16.


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